Monday, January 28, 2013

Birds encore

I gave another afternoon late last week over to the bird trap block.  I don't know why I have connected so strongly with this idea, but whatever.  & quite by accident I decided to make my blocks all together.  This made it easier to knock off requirements as I went, but I think it has also given them a kind of theme they would not otherwise have. 

First, I looked over all the center pieces I made over a week ago, which was PLENTY.  Predicting I was likely to astray with at least one of them I actually made more than a dozen centers, not just the swap total of nine.  While not a requirement, I had decided to start with a fabric that had the images of birds & bird cages.  In this round I met the one plank should be a different width than the others.  I was working with strips out of my scrap bag, so this was quite easy.  In one case I found a short strip of 1/2-square triangles that matched length-wise with one of the blocks, so I used it. 

Many of these strip scraps were also solid (not read-as-solid but solid-solid) which was one of the requirement, but I didn't use the solid strips for all f them from the start.  So, while it will help with block cohesion, it didn't cross that one off my list. 

This time I got a little bit more organized.  I went through & pulled all the solid strips that were between 2" & 3" wide & realized I had quite a bit of green, in several different medium value shades.  I'm not sure why exactly; I think maybe from a 30s round robin I was part of YEARS ago.  The 30s theme was chosen after sign up or I never would have been part of it.  I have nothing against 30s fabric exactly, but I have a limited liking of teeny-eeny prints.  Depending on how they are arranged on the fabric, they sometimes start to vibrate & make me woozy.  & then the destination for the raffle funds got changed after the raffles began &...well let's just say 30s prints & Machiavellian behavior have been linked for me &now I have a whole host of reasons they make me uncomfortable.

Anyhow, I vaguely remember thinking solids were just as authentic & making my rows from them instead of the bleary-making kittens & ballerinas & flowers upon flowers upon little dots that might be more flowers.  Another possibility is the foundation free workshops I did a few years ago.  People brought their own strips, but were encouraged to trade & at the end of every workshop, there were always leftovers that I swept into my basket.  Whatever the reason, I had a number of solid green-in-many shades scrap strips.

I cut these solid strips into squares, matched them w/ like-sized squares of the bird fabric & other scraps in the same color theme, & made 1/2-square triangles (another requirement- one of the plank rounds needed to be piece.  I suggested 1/2-square triangles, but any pieced plank would be fine).

I had added the 1/2-square triangle round to maybe 4 or 5 blocks when I realized NONE & I mean NONE of my scraps were a large scale print.  That was the last requirement I needed to meet (the small scale print requirement was met over & over again in pretty much everything that was not a solid), but I had nothing large scale.  I briefly thought about calling the bird/bird cage print itself large scale & I am still not sure that would have been a cheating, but just in case I hunted until I found one of those all over not-quite-paisley, not quite floral two-tone things.  I used it in the smaller 1/2-square triangles & got a bit nervous that it was not visible enough to be identified as a large scale print, but lets face it this whole swap thing has an honor system quality to it & I KNOW it is as large a pattern as you will every find, just not very high contrast. 

& that is where I am now.  None of the blocks are done & one of them is hideously misshapen, so I will be pulling that out & seeing what the problem is.  In most cases I just have one more round to go to bring it up to size- easily leap-frogging the at east two rounds requirement -& then I am done.  Hopefully freeing my brain to work on more current projects.

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